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1.  Anti-Onchocerca activity and phytochemical analysis of an essential oil from Cyperus articulatus L 
Background
The lack of a safe and effective adult worm drug and the emergence of resistant animal parasite strains to the only recommended drug, the microfilaricide, ivermectin put many at risk of the devastating effects of the onchocerciasis. The present study was undertaken to investigate the acclaimed anti-Onchocerca activity of the roots/rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus in the traditional treatment of onchocerciasis in North Western Cameroon and to assess the plant as a new source of potential filaricidal lead compounds.
Methods
Crude extracts were prepared from the dried plant parts using hexane, methylene chloride and methanol. The antifilarial activity was evaluated in vitro on microfilariae (Mfs) and adult worms of the bovine derived Onchocerca ochengi, a close relative of Onchocerca volvulus. The viabilities of microfilariae and adult male worms were determined based on motility reduction, while for the adult female worms the viability was based on the standard MTT/formazan assay. Cytotoxicity of the active extract was assessed on monkey kidney epithelial cells in vitro and the selectivity indices (SI) were determined. Acute toxicity of the promising extract was investigated in mice. Chemical composition of the active extract was unraveled by GC/MS analysis.
Results
Only the hexane extract, an essential oil exhibited anti-Onchocerca activity. The oil killed both the microfilariae and adult worms of O. ochengi in a dose manner dependently, with IC50s of 23.4 μg/ml on the Mfs, 23.4 μg/ml on adult male worms and 31.25 μg/ml on the adult female worms. Selectivity indices were 4, 4, and 2.99 for Mfs, adult males and adult females, respectively. At a single limit dose of 2000 mg/kg body weight, none of 6 mice that received the essential oil by gavage died. GC/MS analysis revealed the presence of terpenoids, hydrocarbons and fatty acids or fatty acid derivatives as components of the oil.
Conclusions
The essential oil from the roots/rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus is active against O. ochengi microfilariae and adult worms in vitro in a dose dependent manner, hence may provide a source of new anti-filarial compounds. The results also support the traditional use of C. articulatus in the treatment of human onchocerciasis.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-223
PMCID: PMC4099029  PMID: 24998345
Essential oil; Human onchocerciasis; Cyperus articulatus; Phytochemical analysis
2.  Anti-onchocerca Metabolites from Cyperus articulatus: Isolation, In Vitro Activity and In Silico ‘Drug-Likeness’ 
The aims of this investigation were to isolate active ingredients from the roots/rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus used as herbal medicine in Cameroon for the treatment of human onchocerciasis and to assess the efficacy of the metabolites on the Onchocerca worm. The antifilarial activity was evaluated in vitro on microfilariae (Mfs) and adult worms of the bovine derived Onchocerca ochengi, a close relative of Onchocerca volvulus. Cytotoxicity was assessed in vitro on monkey kidney epithelial cells. The structures of the active compounds were determined using spectroscopic methods and their drug-likeness evaluated using Lipinski parameters. Two secondary metabolites, AMJ1 [containing mustakone (1) as the major component] and linoleic acid or (9Z,12Z)-octadeca-9,12-dienoic acid (2) were isolated. Both compounds were found to kill both the microfilariae and adult worms of O. ochengi in a dose dependent manner. The IC50s for AMJ1 were 15.7 µg/mL for Mfs, 17.4 µg/mL for adult males and 21.9 µg/mL for adult female worms while for linoleic acid the values were, 15.7 µg/mL for Mfs, 31.0 µg/mL for adult males and 44.2 µg/mL for adult females. The present report provides the first ever evidence of the anti-Onchocerca efficacy of AMJ1 and linoleic acid. Thus, these secondary metabolites may provide a lead for design and development of new antifilarial agents.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0023-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0023-5
PMCID: PMC4111868  PMID: 25089243
Cyperus articulates; Linoleic acid; Microfilariae; Mustakone; Onchocerca ochengi; Onchocerca volvulus
3.  Anti-onchocerca Metabolites from Cyperus articulatus: Isolation, In Vitro Activity and In Silico ‘Drug-Likeness’ 
The aims of this investigation were to isolate active ingredients from the roots/rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus used as herbal medicine in Cameroon for the treatment of human onchocerciasis and to assess the efficacy of the metabolites on the Onchocerca worm. The antifilarial activity was evaluated in vitro on microfilariae (Mfs) and adult worms of the bovine derived Onchocerca ochengi, a close relative of Onchocerca volvulus. Cytotoxicity was assessed in vitro on monkey kidney epithelial cells. The structures of the active compounds were determined using spectroscopic methods and their drug-likeness evaluated using Lipinski parameters. Two secondary metabolites, AMJ1 [containing mustakone (1) as the major component] and linoleic acid or (9Z,12Z)-octadeca-9,12-dienoic acid (2) were isolated. Both compounds were found to kill both the microfilariae and adult worms of O. ochengi in a dose dependent manner. The IC50s for AMJ1 were 15.7 µg/mL for Mfs, 17.4 µg/mL for adult males and 21.9 µg/mL for adult female worms while for linoleic acid the values were, 15.7 µg/mL for Mfs, 31.0 µg/mL for adult males and 44.2 µg/mL for adult females. The present report provides the first ever evidence of the anti-Onchocerca efficacy of AMJ1 and linoleic acid. Thus, these secondary metabolites may provide a lead for design and development of new antifilarial agents.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0023-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0023-5
PMCID: PMC4111868  PMID: 25089243
Cyperus articulates; Linoleic acid; Microfilariae; Mustakone; Onchocerca ochengi; Onchocerca volvulus
4.  A Bioactivity Versus Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria, West Africa 
Traditional medicinal practices play a key role in health care systems in countries with developing economies. The aim of this survey was to validate the use of traditional medicine within local Nigerian communities. In this review, we examine the ethnobotanical uses of selected plant species from the Nigerian flora and attempt to correlate the activities of the isolated bioactive principles with known uses of the plant species in African traditional medicine. Thirty-three (33) plant species were identified and about 100 out of the 120 compounds identified with these plants matched with the ethnobotanical uses of the plants.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0005-7
PMCID: PMC3956980  PMID: 24660132
African traditional medicine; Bioactivity; Ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Nigeria
5.  A Bioactivity Versus Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants from Nigeria, West Africa 
Traditional medicinal practices play a key role in health care systems in countries with developing economies. The aim of this survey was to validate the use of traditional medicine within local Nigerian communities. In this review, we examine the ethnobotanical uses of selected plant species from the Nigerian flora and attempt to correlate the activities of the isolated bioactive principles with known uses of the plant species in African traditional medicine. Thirty-three (33) plant species were identified and about 100 out of the 120 compounds identified with these plants matched with the ethnobotanical uses of the plants.
doi:10.1007/s13659-014-0005-7
PMCID: PMC3956980  PMID: 24660132
African traditional medicine; Bioactivity; Ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Nigeria
6.  AfroDb: A Select Highly Potent and Diverse Natural Product Library from African Medicinal Plants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78085.
Computer-aided drug design (CADD) often involves virtual screening (VS) of large compound datasets and the availability of such is vital for drug discovery protocols. We assess the bioactivity and “drug-likeness” of a relatively small but structurally diverse dataset (containing >1,000 compounds) from African medicinal plants, which have been tested and proven a wide range of biological activities. The geographical regions of collection of the medicinal plants cover the entire continent of Africa, based on data from literature sources and information from traditional healers. For each isolated compound, the three dimensional (3D) structure has been used to calculate physico-chemical properties used in the prediction of oral bioavailability on the basis of Lipinski’s “Rule of Five”. A comparative analysis has been carried out with the “drug-like”, “lead-like”, and “fragment-like” subsets, as well as with the Dictionary of Natural Products. A diversity analysis has been carried out in comparison with the ChemBridge diverse database. Furthermore, descriptors related to absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) have been used to predict the pharmacokinetic profile of the compounds within the dataset. Our results prove that drug discovery, beginning with natural products from the African flora, could be highly promising. The 3D structures are available and could be useful for virtual screening and natural product lead generation programs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078085
PMCID: PMC3813505  PMID: 24205103
7.  Bioassay-guided discovery of antibacterial agents: in vitro screening of Peperomia vulcanica, Peperomia fernandopoioana and Scleria striatinux 
Background
The global burden of bacterial infections is high and has been further aggravated by increasing resistance to antibiotics. In the search for novel antibacterials, three medicinal plants: Peperomia vulcanica, Peperomia fernandopoioana (Piperaceae) and Scleria striatinux (Cyperaceae), were investigated for antibacterial activity and toxicity.
Methods
Crude extracts of these plants were tested by the disc diffusion method against six bacterial test organisms followed by bio-assay guided fractionation, isolation and testing of pure compounds. The minimum inhibitory (MIC) and minimum bactericidal (MBC) concentrations were measured by the microdilution method. The acute toxicity of the active extracts and cytotoxicity of the active compound were performed in mice and mammalian cells, respectively.
Results
The diameter of the zones of inhibition (DZI) of the extracts ranged from 7–13 mm on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus of which the methylene chloride:methanol [1:1] extract of Scleria striatinux recorded the highest activity (DZI = 13 mm). Twenty-nine pure compounds were screened and one, Okundoperoxide, isolated from S. striatinux, recorded a DZI ranging from 10–19 mm on S. aureus. The MICs and MBCs indicated that the Peperomias had broad-spectrum bacteriostatic activity. Toxicity tests showed that Okundoperoxide may have a low risk of toxicity with an LC50 of 46.88 μg/mL.
Conclusions
The antibacterial activity of these plants supports their use in traditional medicine. The pure compound, Okundoperoxide, may yield new antibacterial lead compounds following medicinal chemistry exploration.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-10
PMCID: PMC3403929  PMID: 22549052
Resistance; Medicinal plants; Antibacterial compound; Toxicity

Results 1-7 (7)